I received the fall issue of Taps Magazine from erik for Christmas. Taps bills itself as “Canada’s Beer Magazine”, probably because it is Canada’s only beer centric magazine, beginning operations in 2007. I’ve enjoyed reading Taps, but in my estimation, Taps is more like Ontario’s beer magazine. Don’t get me wrong, I like Taps and I think that it is well worth reading for any Canadian beer enthusiast. At the same time, it is irksome as a westerner to read a “Canadian” publication that is so Ontario focused. I don’t blame the good people of Taps for their bias; they are from Ontario and Ontario is what they know. That being said, start on the Leafs and I’ll throw some hate your way.
What reading Taps has made me realize is that good beer is largely regional. If I can’t buy the beer or visit the pub or brewery being discussed in a publication, what good does it do me? Mill Street might be the best brewpub on earth, but reading about it just gets me angry at its inaccessibility. The exception to my regional outlook on beer might be travel, where learning about a destination’s beer culture ahead of time might be a very tasty investment.
When considering starting this beer blog I did a lot of research, I read a lot of beer blogs and I went to a lot of beer websites. The only two websites that I consistently have the urge to revisit are the BC Beer Blog and CAMRA Vancouver for their wealth of local news and information. These two sites are coincidentally operated by one Rick Green, who’ve been lucky enough to have comment on this blog. Rick, we love getting our weekly CAMRA newsletters, but that last month between blog posts was torture! What I love about Rick’s writing is it’s local focus; he tells us of upcoming events I can actually attend, of casks we can actually drink from, and of all the beer goings on in and around our area.
Don’t get me wrong, I will continue to read Taps and I will definitely try some of Mill Street’s wares the next time I’m at the Irish Heather. I’m only an Ontario hater when it comes to the Leafs. My point is that the beer news that excites me the most is local beer news, which is convenient considering that the good beer I will most likely enjoy is local beer. I want to stay abreast of everything going on in the beer world, but I feel like most people would be missing out by not delving into their local beer scene. Imports will always have their place, but to me, good beer means local beer. You never know, the tastiest brews might be just down the road.